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Cell Phone Tracking Question (vanity)
Self | Self

Posted on 08/29/2011 1:56:47 PM PDT by NewHampshireDuo

I am reading a very interesting book on surveillance (Surveillance or Security? - The risks posed by new wiretapping technologies by Susan Landau). In it the author makes a passing comment that cell phone locations (proximity to a tower) can be tracked even with the phone turned off. The implication is that turning the phone off only turns off the user interface, not the periodic pings. Removing the battery will turn this off.

I have seen some statements that this is correct and others that say it's not but nothing (in a quick search) that's definitive.

Does anyone have an authoritative source with an answer?


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: cellphone; tracking; vanity
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1 posted on 08/29/2011 1:56:49 PM PDT by NewHampshireDuo
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To: NewHampshireDuo

“even with the phone turned off”

If that is the case, I’m guessing that the battery would die out if it stayed off for very long so I seriously doubt it. Many hikers only turn their phone on periodically to save the battery.


2 posted on 08/29/2011 1:58:51 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

When my cellphone is off but the battery is in and it’s near a radio that’s on or near my laptop and the sound is on I hear four or five beeps every so often.


3 posted on 08/29/2011 1:59:05 PM PDT by SkyDancer (You know, they invented wheelbarrows to teach government employees how to walk on their hind legs.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

That is correct.
Years ago a friend of mine had problems with his phone. While talking to tech support they asked him to turn the phone off to apply an update.
He said, “Do you need me to turn it back on?”
“Nope.”

Unless you pull the battery you can be logged. All part of the E911 law to make us safer, ya’know.


4 posted on 08/29/2011 1:59:59 PM PDT by Gunslingr3
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To: NewHampshireDuo

It depends upon how you define ‘Off’.

If you are completely ‘Off’; your phone has to re-register and find towers, effectively re-boot and re-initialize. Typically, when a phone is turned ‘off’ it’s really set to a sleep mode. So, when you drive, the phone isn’t really burning a whole lot of power; but it is picking up new cell towers and dropping other cell towers as they move out of range.

If you want total radio silence; you have to remove the battery - or turn the phone completely OFF - such that it has to reboot when you re-power it on again.


5 posted on 08/29/2011 2:00:13 PM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
The Authoratative Source has decided that you know all you need to know about that.

**

And once the biometric patch tattoo thingie is worked out, you won't even be able to take the battery out.

6 posted on 08/29/2011 2:00:19 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: NewHampshireDuo

It’s my understanding that the phone cannot be tracked if the battery is removed. But......they could place a very small battery in the phone, on the circuit board that couldn’t be removed. Believe me, if they want to track you via this device or any other, like GPS or computers in your car, they can.


7 posted on 08/29/2011 2:01:34 PM PDT by RC2
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To: SkyDancer
I hear four or five beeps every so often.

That's either to remind you to drop another raisin in the Gin or synch up your beeber, depending on your status at the time.

8 posted on 08/29/2011 2:02:44 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: RC2

Could this be prevented by placing the phone into an all metal container?


9 posted on 08/29/2011 2:03:23 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page) [rednecks come in many colors])
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To: the invisib1e hand

None of this will matter when you get your own personal “chip.”


10 posted on 08/29/2011 2:05:28 PM PDT by jennings2004 (Sarah Palin: "The bright light at the end of a very dark tunnel!")
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To: RC2

You can prevent being tracked if you can restrict the phone’s antenna from sending and receiving signals. I have been told that you can buy “antistat” bags like those used to protect PCBs from ESD damage and put your phone in it to prevent being “followed.” It will take the phone some small period of time to find a cell tower though when you take it out to use.


11 posted on 08/29/2011 2:05:28 PM PDT by vette6387 (Enough Already!)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
It probably depends on the phone and whether off is really off. On my Kyocera phone, it looks like the phone is really off except for checking the power on button is being pushed after I turn it off. On the other hand my iPod Touch (very similar to the iPhone) just goes into a lower power standby mode unless I hold down the power button for a few seconds to do a full shutdown. I would expect the iPhone does something similar with separate standby/power off modes depending on how you turn it "off".

Maybe you can check with some fancy RF equipment, or even a radio which the cell phone interferes with when checking in. I know some GSM phones can make speakers buzz when they are very close and are checking into the tower.

12 posted on 08/29/2011 2:05:56 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Due to the earthquake the president has officially implemented Rule 18-1.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Yes, then fill the container with water or other suitable liquid.


13 posted on 08/29/2011 2:07:22 PM PDT by CholeraJoe (Prepare for Armageddon! Buy brass and lead!)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

In the movie Spartan, Val Kilmer’s character actually did specifically take out the battery from the cellphone...twice in the movie. The movie/script was based on the founder of Delta Force so there might be truth to it.


14 posted on 08/29/2011 2:07:30 PM PDT by max americana (FUBO NATION 2012 FK BARAK)
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To: jennings2004
None of this will matter when you get your own personal “chip.”

I assure you that will never happen. Although I am given to a half pint of Mint Chip on occasion.

15 posted on 08/29/2011 2:07:52 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Can you say "Faraday cage"?

Apparently you can.
:)

16 posted on 08/29/2011 2:08:13 PM PDT by grobdriver (Proud Member, Party Of No! No Socialism - No Fascism - Nobama - No Way!)
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To: CholeraJoe

Silly....


17 posted on 08/29/2011 2:08:53 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page) [rednecks come in many colors])
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To: NewHampshireDuo

If you don’t want your phone to be used as a tracking AND listening device, remove the battery.


18 posted on 08/29/2011 2:09:31 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I guess I’ll have to put my phone inside my tinfoil hat.


19 posted on 08/29/2011 2:13:54 PM PDT by NewHampshireDuo
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To: vette6387
I have been told that you can buy “antistat” bags like those used to protect PCBs from ESD damage and put your phone in it to prevent being “followed.”

Nope. I just tried it and it didn't work. The phone company still found me... well, my phone rang when I dialed it from a land line. At most it will weaken the signal so the phone will just turn up the power on its transmission to get through.

20 posted on 08/29/2011 2:16:29 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Due to the earthquake the president has officially implemented Rule 18-1.)
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To: KarlInOhio

Antistat bags have a highly resistive coating that works as a static protection guard but it’s useless as a RF shield. You need metal or a dense metal mesh.


21 posted on 08/29/2011 2:23:13 PM PDT by NewHampshireDuo
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To: SampleMan

So how do you take the battery out of IPHONE.


22 posted on 08/29/2011 2:26:24 PM PDT by Orange1998 (Obama also inherited AAA credit rating.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

The specific line in the book is:

“Users broadcast their location whenever their phone is turned on - and the phones can be manipulated to do such broadcasting even when the phone is off.”

A key word is “manipulated” which I would take could mean a possible default setting in the phone, a command signal from the service provider, etc.

The author has a strong engineering, cybersecurity and public policy background so I don’t dismiss the comment although there was no footnote associated with the statement.


23 posted on 08/29/2011 2:28:23 PM PDT by NewHampshireDuo
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To: Orange1998
So how do you take the battery out of IPHONE.

Have you tried a hammer?

24 posted on 08/29/2011 2:31:18 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

I always keep a few of those cellophane-foil potato chip bags with me and toss my phone in there when I’m not using it.


25 posted on 08/29/2011 2:33:43 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Orange1998

So how do you take the battery out of IPHONE

2 ways
1 throw it hard against a wall
2 Lay it on the floor and stomp the crap out of it or until the battery falls out.


26 posted on 08/29/2011 2:34:24 PM PDT by bikerman
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To: NewHampshireDuo

You could drop that sucker in a mini-potato chip bag (those thing METAL types) and be fine, I think.

Here’s an experiment that will convince you of the value of a Farraday Cage:

Put phone A in a microwave, door open. Call the phone, observe ring.

Close the door of the OFF microwave:

Call the phone. It does not ring.

Those are the effects of a (small) Farraday Cage.


27 posted on 08/29/2011 2:37:07 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: NewHampshireDuo

Use throwaways from WalMart and your concerns about being tracked are over.
Just make sure you really do throw them away every so often.


28 posted on 08/29/2011 2:37:58 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Muslims who advocate, support, or carry out Jihad give the other 1% a bad name)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

If you keep it in a bucket of water you will not be tracked.


29 posted on 08/29/2011 2:39:33 PM PDT by org.whodat (What does the Republican party stand for////??? absolutely nothing.)
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To: RC2

“Believe me, if they want to track you via this device or any other, like GPS or computers in your car, they can.”

That’s why I always keep two cell phones registered in my name: one on my person, the other tied to a balloon which randomly floats around the neighborhood.


30 posted on 08/29/2011 2:41:50 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: bikerman

I guess its design this way to sell another phone. Battery not replaceable and loses 20% capacity every year. Wow what genius marketing ploy. NOT.


31 posted on 08/29/2011 2:42:13 PM PDT by Orange1998 (Obama also inherited AAA credit rating.)
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To: Iron Munro

“Use throwaways from WalMart and your concerns about being tracked are over.”

They did this on “The Wire,” I believe, in which case the cops sold dummied-up throwaways, with a wiretap all ready to go, directly to the drug dealers.


32 posted on 08/29/2011 2:45:25 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: SampleMan

Hammer to 500.00 phone? LOL Steve Jobs is probably the ONLY person on this planet able to convince buyers to spend 500.00 and 100.00 a month for 2 year contract with a product useful life of 3 years.


33 posted on 08/29/2011 2:47:40 PM PDT by Orange1998 (Obama also inherited AAA credit rating.)
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To: vette6387

I dunno that I’d trust that, but I’m sure some freeper has one sitting around that came off a replacement hard drive or video card or whatnot...any self respecting geek has half a dozen nice ones they’ve kept from various upgrades.


34 posted on 08/29/2011 2:52:22 PM PDT by Fire_on_High (Stupid should hurt.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

Don’t know how much of this should be public info. My friend works for the Secret Service, and according to him the phone must be on before it can be tracked.


35 posted on 08/29/2011 2:52:59 PM PDT by Ironfocus (2012: Just Undo It)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

I have found that tinfoil has many uses like duct tape in solving everyday problems like yours. Just wrap your cellphone in several layers of tinfoil and they won't be able to track you, really! Trust me. ;-)

36 posted on 08/29/2011 2:55:32 PM PDT by OB1kNOb (When scraping bottom of political barrel, the top layer of scum candidates isn't better than bottom.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
There may be a way to remotely "ping" an OFF cell phone from a tower, but my Verizon GSM/EDGE cell phone doesn't talk to the tower when it's OFF.

I'm an electronics engineer, and I have a spectrum analyzer (measures transmit power, even short pulses). By making a call, I established the frequency range and power that it operated on. I also established a controlled radio environment where no signals except the cell phone's would register on the analyzer. Then, I turned off the cell phone and continued monitoring it.

No transmission for a half hour now.

As soon as I turned it back on, it started transmitting again.

They can't track ya if ya don't transmit.

Or if they can't hear ya -- y'all with the Faraday Cage ideas are on the right track. Just wrap it in good ol' aluminum foil.

37 posted on 08/29/2011 2:56:13 PM PDT by backwoods-engineer (Any politician who holds that the state accords rights is an oathbreaker and an "enemy... domestic.")
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To: NewHampshireDuo

an article came out in 2006 that the FBI could use cell phones even phones that were turned off as a wiretap

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1029-6140191.html


38 posted on 08/29/2011 3:14:57 PM PDT by edzo4 (You call us the 'Party Of No', I call us the resistance.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

you can track any cell phone at http://www.gpsspying.com/


39 posted on 08/29/2011 3:16:11 PM PDT by NCcatdaddy
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To: backwoods-engineer
I also established a controlled radio environment where no signals except the cell phone's would register on the analyzer.

By "controlled environment" - would your phone have been able to receive a ping from the tower? Closely reading the statement in the book, it (sort of) implies that the phone may have to be commanded to transmit when switched off.

40 posted on 08/29/2011 3:22:50 PM PDT by NewHampshireDuo
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To: NCcatdaddy

lol...you bad!


41 posted on 08/29/2011 3:23:15 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$
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To: the invisib1e hand

Ha! There’s so many raisin’s in there it made its own prison pruno (don’t ask me how I know).


42 posted on 08/29/2011 3:38:52 PM PDT by SkyDancer (You know, they invented wheelbarrows to teach government employees how to walk on their hind legs.)
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To: Orange1998; SampleMan
Hammer to 500.00 phone?

If you want to finesse it, put a screwdriver on one edge and then smash the screwdriver with a hammer.

43 posted on 08/29/2011 3:40:13 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

Let them track you...it keeps them busy not tracking the rest of us.


44 posted on 08/29/2011 3:48:47 PM PDT by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: backwoods-engineer

Well, when in doubt -— I sent an email to the book’s author.


45 posted on 08/29/2011 3:49:53 PM PDT by NewHampshireDuo
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To: gaijin

You need more than that - you need a cage made of mu-metal because the EM signal has a magnetic component which also needs to be blocked, in addition to the electrical component.


46 posted on 08/29/2011 3:52:00 PM PDT by expatpat
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To: expatpat

If you really have it fully wrapped in conductive foil so that you have a true Faraday cage (i.e., an electrostatic shield), the currents induced on the inner surface of that shield by the magnetic field cancel it out.


47 posted on 08/29/2011 4:18:15 PM PDT by Erasmus (I love "The Raven," but then what do I know? I'm just a poetaster.)
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To: Right Wing Assault

Hold My Beer, while I give it a try.


48 posted on 08/29/2011 4:48:38 PM PDT by Orange1998 (Obama also inherited AAA credit rating.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
Just a point of interest, but pulling the battery only works for your immediate movements.

So, lets say you secretly went to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings on Thursdays, and you pulled the battery out almost every Thursday when you did. If three weeks out of four there is no data for 2 hours, and one week out of four there is data showing you at a given point for those 2 hours, well, the phone company can put 2 and 2 together and figure out where you probably are.

Tracking isn't just immediate. It's logged. So, wherever your phone has been while it's on leaves a record.

49 posted on 08/29/2011 4:58:54 PM PDT by Steel Wolf ("Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master." - Gaius Sallustius Crispus)
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To: backwoods-engineer

I did get a reply from the book’s author. “Manipulated” means that software has to be installed to make the phone beacon when switched off. This is intrusive and requires a wiretap warrant to be legal.


50 posted on 08/29/2011 6:08:43 PM PDT by NewHampshireDuo
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